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As a conscientious parent, you keep track of the foods and medication that enter your child’s body to make sure that ingesting these products don’t cause harm to your child.
Due to the constant influx of new information released by doctors and researchers, it can be difficult to keep up with the latest announcements, even when they include important information, such as the FDA recent publication of certain ingredients in ear drops that the administration warns against.
Recently, the United States Food and Drug Administration announced that they will be taking action against manufacturers and drug companies which have added ingredients in ear drops that increase the risk of harm in children.
Specifically, ear drops that contain benzocaine, or a mix of benzocaine along with chloroxylenol, hydrocortisone, antipyrine or zinc acetate, have been indicated for removal from pharmacy shelves and hospital stockpiles. Companies distributing these products have also been targeted for sanctions.
Cynthia Schnedar, Director of Compliance within the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, stated that “there are many FDA-approved prescription products to treat ear infections, so we expect little or no impact on patients from the removal of these unapproved and potentially unsafe products.”
Put simply, the addition of these ingredients to various ear medications are completely unnecessary, and other ear drop solutions that don’t have these additives work perfectly fine to combat medical conditions of the ear.
The use of ear drops to relieve symptoms and cure medical issues tends to be used most by young children, who are more susceptible to ear infections and other conditions that affect the inner ear and the spaces that connect to this portion of the cranium.
The FDA notes that these medications are prescribed the most to kids suffering from pain or discomfort due to ear infections. However, unapproved ear drops, because of the fact that they haven’t been properly tested, can make the symptoms and the condition causing the discomfort worse.
Stinging, rashes and allergic responses to the medication are listed as potential contraindications. Even more disconcerting is the fact that the long-term side effects of benzocaine and other unapproved additives are completely unknown, which could lead to even more serious consequences later on in the life of your child.
Untreated, chronic ear infections can lead to temporary or even permanent hearing loss, and unless the pain is acute, can go unnoticed. If your child has unexplained fevers, ear pain, or can’t seem to hear you unless you speak loudly, you should seek professional help.
At Houston Sinus & Allergy, our ENT doctor specializes in treating nasal and ear conditions, as well as issues stemming from allergies. Dr. Nguyen has helped countless children to breathe and hear properly, with compassion, technology and skill. Book an assessment today to let us determine how to help your child’s ear infection, and allow them to hear your voice in full effect!